Housatonic CC Director Killed in Florida Car Crash Featured

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Written By:

Esther Watstein is the Public Relations Associate at Housatonic Community College.



Website: www.housatonic.edu Email

36 comments

  • Comment Link Monday, 18 January 2016 16:17 posted by Myra Healy

    I have been reading the postings of memories of Jose and I am so saddened by everyone's feelings of loss. Jose was always so kind and patient so many times as I learned how to navigate Blackboard and all computer issues. As a some-time adjunct for the last 20 years, I feel so blessed to have known Jose. This is really tragic news. Thank you this opportunity to leave a message. .

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 12 January 2016 14:21 posted by Vanessa Reid

    Life is too short. Praying that his family may find peace with time. Nothing hurts worst than losing a love one. R.I.P.

  • Comment Link Thursday, 07 January 2016 16:37 posted by Wanda L. Mwalwanda

    I am speechless. Words cannot begin to express my emotions and the chills that I am feeling as I read about this news today & I sit to write this. Jose has helped me with every possible online problem that I have encountered while a student at HCC. He was always kind and extremely patient with me, especially during all the times that I would forget my login information. He will definitely be missed. My condolences to his family.

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 06 January 2016 15:14 posted by Eleanor Bloom

    Such an inspiring soul is Jose. He leaves behind a profound presence. It will be such an honor to contribute to a scholarship in his honor.

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 06 January 2016 03:54 posted by Andrew Bednarik

    A kind, gentle, giving man who was always there for students and faculty, Jose was an inspiration on how to give of oneself for others. His ability to help others was surpassed only by his caring spirit that one could feel when around this very special person.

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 05 January 2016 20:53 posted by Kelly Hope

    I’d be remiss if I did not acknowledge the heaviness I feel as a result of the untimely and unfortunate passing of our beloved Jose. Without a doubt, Jose impacted and helped shape our on-campus orientation and was instrumental in the creation and launching of our revised on-line orientation program (housed in Blackboard). Jose’s on-campus Blackboard/My CommNet workshop proved to be one of the most impactful workshops for our students. His calm demeanor, commitment to making sure students were prepared with activated e-mails and tips to log into Blackboard and MyCommnet was invaluable and surely leaves a void at the college and within our orientation program. We are currently exploring ways in which we may be able to uphold the standard Jose set for ensuring our students are introduced and prepared to use Blackboard and MyCommnet.

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 05 January 2016 20:52 posted by Joe Jenecaro

    Being Jose’s “office neighbor” in Beacon Hall, I saw him nearly every day. Everything that’s been said is so true—he was always upbeat, positive, and pleasant—with a great smile. And Jose was always very helpful to both students and staff. His parting is a great loss on many levels. Adding his name to the Distance Learning Center and also establishing a Scholarship in his name are great ideas. I am certainly among those that would like to contribute once such a Scholarship is established. We are all the better for having known Jose.

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 05 January 2016 20:50 posted by Rebecca Adams

    Jose was such a kind presence at HCC. He was hardworking and the consummate professional; he never "dropped the ball" and was always someone you could count on, knowing he would follow through to completion whatever problem or issue or new idea with which you happened to present him.

    Jose was more than this, though. He was a straight up good person. He never complained. He handled very stressful situations without comment, without giving in to the temptation, if he ever felt such temptation, to badmouth anyone....to affix blame on anyone. Not Jose----he wasn't like that. He was always positive and kind. He was alwyas looking for the way to fix the problem, to acheive the goal.

    I would love for the Distance Learning Center to become the Jose Labrador Distance Learning Center. I'd love to have a scholarship in Jose's name, as well. I want to contribute to it right now! Maybe we can think, as a community, about what kind of qualifications we'd want to support with such a scholarship. I am thinking that maybe we could give it to a student who embodied the kinds of values Jose represented: hard work, positive attitude, kindness, humor, follow through. What have I forgotten?

    In closing, I'd like to give you the English translation of the beautiful poem shared by Barbara Richards: Elegia a Ramon Sije, by Miguel Hernandez. While certainly most pure and beautiful in Spanish, Jose's native tongue, the words of this poem (in any language) truly hit on the grief we all feel.

    Elegía a Ramón Sijé
    El rayo que no cesa, 1936
    Elegy to Ramon Sijé
    Unceasing lightning


    (In Orihuela, his town and mine, death has taken from me,
    as if struck by lightning, Ramón Sijé, with whom I shared so much love.)

    I want to be, crying, the peasant
    that works the earth you occupy and fertilise,
    companion of my soul, so soon.

    My grief without instrument feeds
    the rains, makes horns and organs sound,
    and to the dispirited poppies

    I will give your heart as food.
    So much pain gathers in my side,
    that it even pains me to breathe.

    A hard slap, a frozen blow,
    an invisible and murderous stroke of the axe,
    a brutal shove has brought you down.

    There is nothing longer than my wound,
    I weep for all my misfortunes
    and I feel more for your death than for my own life.

    I walk on the stubble of the dead,
    and with warmth from no-one and unconsolable,
    I make my way from my heart to my daily business.

    So soon death has risen up in flight,
    so soon dawn has dawned,
    so soon you are rolling on the ground.

    I cannot forgive that lover, death,
    I cannot forgive thoughtless life,
    I cannot forgive the earth, nor the void.

    In my hands I raise a storm
    of strident stones, bolts of lightning and axes,
    thirsting and hungering for catastrophes.

    I want to scrape at the earth with my teeth,
    I want to split the earth apart bit by bit
    with dry, hot bites.

    I want to mine into the earth until I find you
    and kiss your noble skull
    and take your shroud from you and bring you back.

    You will come back to my garden and my fig tree:
    among the high flowery trellises
    your soul will flit like a bee in its hive

    sewn with the wax of angels.
    You will come back to the murmuring
    of farm-workers at their beloveds’ windows.

    You will cheer up the shadow over my eyebrows,
    and from either side your beloved and the bees
    will argue over your blood.

    Your heart, now wrinkled velvet,
    calls my greedy lovers’ voice
    to a field of foaming almonds.

    I want to be with you under the winged souls
    of the roses of the cream-coloured almond tree,
    for we have many things to talk of,
    companion of my soul, my companion.

    10 January 1936

    This translation is provided via the website There are Nightingales that Sing which is sponsored by
    Asociación Cultural Orihuela 2010.

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 05 January 2016 20:48 posted by Kathy Kurzatkowski

    Jose was a kind and caring professional, friend and teacher. He walked me through times of "total fog" and helped me to understand and use Blackboard and then working with Cengage. I will truly miss him, his caring and patience. He was a friend and someone that has made a great impact on us all.
    Kathy Kurzatkowski, Adjunct

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 05 January 2016 20:46 posted by Frederick M. Tapper

    I was such a shock, I could not reply until today.
    He had just written me a thank you letter.

    I saw him leave on his last day. He wished everyone a pleasant holiday and said he was going away for the holidays.

    The next day, my phone rang, and I found out about our loss.

    God Bless Jose

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